New York Fashion Week for FW18 had a lot resting on its shoulders after a stellar performance of diversity and inclusion on the runway last season. With SS18 hailed as a major win for the industry, applauded for embracing the beginning of a new chapter in the wake of much needed change.
The fashion week agenda is already highly anticipated with a month that is jam packed with shows, celebrity appearances and coveted street style across the globe but with it’s commencement last week in New York, there was as much attention being paid to the representation on the runway as there was to Victoria Beckham’s adorable family moment!
An almost uncomfortable pause hovered as we waited with expectation and hope for the momentum of SS18 to roll over. What will they deliver, who will follow, who will disappoint? Will it be a season of firsts on and off the runway?
For without it, those milestone achievements would potentially be reduced to nothing more than a fleeting moment in time, a token souvenir to be tucked away safely in fashion’s archives. Diversity and inclusion nothing more than a good news story that would pass with the next wave of industry news. Anticipation was next level!
And all in all, I think it’s a win! While the numbers aren’t out exacting how many plus size models walked and how many models of colour were represented, there were some milestone moments during the week that spoke volumes to the diversity cause. Read on for some of our favourite moments.
Ashley Graham opens for Christian Siriano
Not only a first for fashion week, but a first for Ashley Graham with diversity advocate and designer Christian Siriano choosing to give Ashley the coveted position. In a statement backstage, Christian said this about his decision; “ I had Ashley Graham here to show that a curvy girl can open a show at fashion week”. Actions speak louder than words and well known for his support and advocacy of runway diversity, Christian Siriano perfected the message without really having to say a thing.
The Council for Fashion Designers of America, (CFDA) partners with The Model Alliance to provide private changing areas for models back stage.
In response to models having expressed concerns around their safety and privacy back stage, and no doubt in light of recent allegations from prominent photographers, The CFDA partnered with The Model Alliance to provide safe spaces for changing. The message loud and clear that the models safety and well being are important. Supported by IMG and Pier 59 studios this is another milestone event that we hope will become standard practice across Fashion Week globally.
Prabal Gurung celebrates the strength and diversity of women.
Quoted as saying he wanted to show women in their full feminine glory, Gurung’s show was a picture of strength, unity and diversity with his casting of models speaking for itself. And as powerful as that was what we also LOVED was his display back stage of messages designed to inspire and strengthen, with posters especially created to remind the models of the strength of their voice and their place in the world “ Your voice is your power, use it for justice” and “You are the present You are the future, You rule the world, WALK with intention” .
As penned by Tyler McCall for Fashionista.com, “Gurung doesn’t just talk the talk, he has fully walked the walk”.
In a post to her social media fans, model Candice Huffin said this “There is a saying that fashion is fantasy, but I believe fashion is far more exciting when it matches the world in which we live today. Step by step that vision is solidifying”.
We couldn’t have said it better.
Week One of FW18 is complete. Expectations have been set. London… You’re up next! What surprises will you deliver?